IMDb claims the film was shot on a mix of 5217, 5219, red, and IMAX with master prime and ultra primes. I've read the film was shot almost entirely with natural light and, for once, I'll believe it (the night interiors obviously had practicals chosen specifically for how they would throw light and the set design--lots of windows and blue/green walls--was specifically tailer for contrast, color, and light, and I imagine they took something out of the truck everyone once in a while for interiors in particular, but still, wow). Looking in the eyes during day exteriors, I never saw a beadboard, 12x frame, anything at all--sometimes to the detriment of a particular shot that might have benefited from a bit more fill or an eye light imo, but overall this is the best cinematography of the year by far and the best natural light cinematography I've seen.
Which begs the question--how? The basic tricks were all there--backlit late day photography, blue hour photography, etc. but the look is like nothing I've seen. I've rarely seen overcast days where light was quite that contrasty or directional and the lack of raccoon eyes during overcast exteriors (and the surprisingly lush palette) is impressive. A lot of the day exteriors shot with direct sun have much less contrast than I'd expect, too. Does anyone know what the DI process was like for this film? The light and contrast is breathtaking. The overcast photography looks too good to be real, the direct sun photography too soft and low contrast to truly be unfilled (and yet where are the reflections in the eyes from reflectors--there never were any that I could see)?
The blue hour stuff looks too good to be real, too. When I shoot during blue hour the contrast between the sky and foreground is simply too much for a camera to handle. And yet the contrast is just perfect with no evidence of grad filters or polarizers in sight.
Furthermore, the day interior photography looked appropriately exposed and absolutely gorgeous. And yet soft light through the window rarely provides a bright enough key. Maybe the wide lenses let them shoot almost wide open?
Did this movie undergo a crazy DI or was it simply the strength of the photography? The DI must have been quite good. I can usually tell when scenes switch between IMAX and 35mm--the grain structure and contrast changes. But here it was seamless. And the red and film must have been graded together seamlessly, too, since it all looked great to me, quite an accomplishment since I think red rarely handles greens and skin tones as well as film.
Also, how did they do the creation of the universe stuff? Incredible effects. I want to emulate those for a short I'm doing.
Anyone have any insight? I did catch one rack aperture...
Edited by M Joel Wauhkonen, 04 February 2012 - 06:38 PM.